ReMix: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening "Melodies of Mabe Village"
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- Game: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Nintendo, 1993, GB)
- ReMixer(s): Sauraen
- Composer(s): Kazumi Totaka, Koji Kondo, Kozue Ishikawa, Minako Hamano
- Song(s): "Ballad of the Wind Fish", "Koholint Island", "Mabe Village"
- Posted: 2014-08-06, evaluated by the judges
- Terms (BETA): acoustic-guitar brass mellow orchestral piano resubmission rock strings woodwinds
I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love it when a mix comes together! Newcomer Sauraen started OFF with a promising arrangement and, thanks to perseverance and heeded feedback from the judges panel, submitted this approved & final revision that matched all those notes with production/recording that does them justice. This is a piano-led orchestral take on several themes from Link's Awakening that picks up & takes off towards the end with a bit of a rock attitude:
"A remix I made of three songs from Zelda: Link's Awakening (Ballad of the Wind Fish, Mabe Village, Koholint Island). Here is an improved version of an arrangement I submitted on Dec. 12, 2011, that was evaluated by OA, DragonAvenger, and halc on Mar. 13, 2012 and rejected on the grounds of poor sample quality and mastering. The first two versions of this remix were rejected from OC ReMix. This is the ninth draft of the third version, being submitted to OC ReMix again. I have been working over the piece for the past year with new samples and with the assistance of the Work-in-Progress forums (and I've learned quite a bit about mastering!) Software used: Sibelius, EastWest/Quantum Leap Complete Composers Collection, Audacity. I hope you enjoy this arrangement."
Let me be the first say that it was worth all those drafts, as this very creative take on several of Link's Awakening's "greatest hits" does a wonderful job integrating them into a positive, emotive, and ultimately playful piece. It's the type of arrangement that stresses & exposes samples quite a bit, so it's also the type that hinges on a certain quality level. Chimpazilla writes:
"Wow, I remember this track from nearly two years ago in the wip forum. Such a beautiful arrangement. I loved it immediately, but the samples and sequencing were not up to par. This is a HUGE improvement. The samples sound so much better, and nicely humanized. I hate fadeout endings. You could easily have ended the song right at 5:00, without going into the extra verse and the fadeout. *sigh* Still, this sounds terrific now, and I'm comfortable passing it. Nice work!"
I'll have to concur on the ending, which is a bit superfluous and introduces an unnecessary fade, but it doesn't really detract much from the overall experience; DarkeSword agrees:
"Oh hey, it's my favorite Zelda game! Nothing beats Link's Awakening :) This is super pretty. Really straightforward arrangement on Wind Fish, with nice use of piano and winds. Samples aren't perfect but you're making them work for you. It's got kind of a lo-fi PC JRPG vibe to it, like an old Falcom game. Transitions are perfect. Love how you move into Mabe Village and Koholint Island. Feels so organic! Really awesome arrangement, and I'm not just saying that because of Zelda-bias. Great job."
The transitions ARE definitely a strength, firmly avoiding any symptoms of medleyitis and resulting in a unified, lyrical whole. Again, you can tell this is a strong arrangement that's been refined & polished, and it's great that production has been elevated to a point that it doesn't distract from all that effort & craftsmanship. Strong debut from Sauraen who's worked & waited a long time to get here, but who delivers an excellent & memorable tribute to a fantastic Zelda OST as a result!
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